Monday 16 January 2017

EL James enlists Irish husband Niall Leonard to pen Fifty Shades of Grey sequel as release dates revealed

Published 24/04/2015 | 08:12

British writer E L James (L) and her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard walk on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015.
British writer E L James (L) and her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard walk on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015.

Rumours of unease behind the scenes on box office busting Fifty Shades of Grey haven't put author EL James off involvement in the movie series.

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In fact, it's becoming a family affair as her Irish husband Niall Leonard, is reportedly set to write the screenplay for the sequel to the movie adaption of her erotic novel series.

Leonard, who was born in Newry and has two sons with James, has previously penned episodes of Hornblower, Wire in the Blood and Ballykissangel.

He also wrote the Crusher novels and also helped EL James to write the screenplay for the first Fifty Shades of Grey film.

The movie went on to bag a whopping $568.8 million worldwide.

“Niall is an outstanding writer in his own right, with multiple established credits, and we are lucky to have him join Team Fifty,” producer Michael De Luca told The Hollywood Reporter.

Fifty Shades Darker will be released on February 10, 2017, while Fifty Shades Freed will open the following year on February 9, 2018.

EL James' 'mummy porn' novels are about a successful young man who is into BDSM and schools his graduate girlfriend in the ways of the lifestyle.

However, Leonard has always denied being the inspiration behind Christian Grey, saying his wife's creation was strictly "fanstasy".

"It's a fantasy, it's certainly not based on me. In fact perhaps being married to me helped her to fantasise about someone more interesting," he said.

As for the movie, all is not rosy in the Fifty Shades garden as both director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel have departed the franchise.

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson announces she will not direct sequels to Fifty Shades Of Grey  

Rumours of clashes with author EL James, who had creative control and whose presence on set was constant, are reportedly to blame for their exit.

Both Jamie Dornan and Dakota Fanning are reportedly still on board although a new director has yet to be found.

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